My eyes lighted up when I heard about Kevin’s woodworking workshop. In the wave of digitalization and speed, it is counter-intuitive to venture into a business that encourages people to build things with their hands.
Woodwork is close to Kevin’s heart because it is a craft he inherited from his grandfather. Even though he is an IT professional by training, when it comes to the big existential question ‘what do I want to do with life’, his instinct pointed him back to the joy of creating and building things from scratch.
1| Choose freedom over security
In Kevin’s word, he quit his corporate job for the reason that many people see as a major advantage — it is too stable.
When there was no challenges and growth in his day-to-day routine, his mind started wandering and questioning the meaning of life. Eventually, he quit the job and ventured into website design.
In the process of building furniture for ‘The Hatchery Place’ (a co-working and co-living space) with his partner, woodworking came into the picture when he received a request to conduct a workshop.
The freedom to explore different possibilities in life ultimately leads him to his childhood passion for woodwork.
2| Empowering adults and children through creativity
The biggest motivation and satisfaction in Kevin’s work come from the changes he observes in his student, especially the children.
Many people are deprived of the opportunity to create things from scratch nowadays. Whenever we need something, we instinctively search through the different retail sites for the best option available.
When Kevin empowers his students to build something with their own hands, it changes their self-perception and gives them the confidence to explore new things in different facets of life.
To Kevin, cultivating creative confidence in children through woodworking is the impact he wants to make in this world.
3| Faith is the antidote to uncertainties
While Kevin is living a life of passion, he admitted that uncertainties and financial instability are part of the package.
Coming face to face with fear of uncertainty, Kevin diversified his income streams by providing web design services. He would ask himself, ‘what is the worst thing that could happen?’
When it becomes clear that being broke is not fatal nor permeant, he gains the courage to have faith in doing the thing he is supposed to do.
4| Truth, love and power
Kevin attributes the clarity in his inner compass to the book, ‘Personal development for smart people’, a ‘life bible’ that has an immense impact in his life.
Among the many lessons from the book, the most important values that become Kevin’s guiding principle are ‘truth, love and power’.
Whenever he has to make a decision, Kevin always weigh it against these principles — is it true? Is it of love? Is it empowering?
No matter where you are, start somewhere
In the world where people consume more than create, Kevin is making a small wave by giving people a rare opportunity to get in touch with the creativity we are all born with.
When the schools measure children based on a common template of grades, Kevin let children explore their senses and learn about themselves through woodwork.
Kevin believes that the confidence everyone gains from woodwork will trickle to other aspects of life, giving people the confidence to explore new things and be authentic in creating their own life.
It takes courage to make a big decision that will forever change your life. Whatever you want to create, start building the skills now before you dive into the ocean.
The journey of a thousand feet starts with the first step. — Lao Tzu